Overcrowding at Irving Elementary School in Joplin leads to dist - KOAM TV 7

Overcrowding at Irving Elementary School in Joplin leads to district staffing changes

Some students at Stapleton Elementary School and Irving Elementary School in Joplin are adjusting to new teachers and classes this week.

Today, three teachers moved from Stapleton to Irving, after overcrowding at Irving led to some district staffing changes.

"It's definitely like the first day of school all over again," said Erin Johnson, parent.

Johnson is the mother of one of the first graders moving into a new class at Irving.

"He just got kind of settled in to the second week of school and now he's going to get the upheaval of having to meet a whole new teacher, in a whole different classroom with all different kids," Johnson said.

Second grade teacher Dawn Compton is also adjusting to the move, but is happy to help alleviate the overcrowding at Irving.

"It's really beneficial for the students because then they're able to get more one on one instruction," Compton said.

School district officials say by moving three teachers from Stapleton to Irving, all kindergarten, first grade and second grade classes will now average between 22 and 25 students at both schools.

"Moving from a class of 30 or 31, down to a class of 24 or 25, can make a difference in the learning experience for a student," said Jennifer Doshier, Executive Director of Elementary Education at Joplin Schools.

While Johnson is happy her son will now have a smaller class size, she would like to see attendance zones revisited, as more families move back into the tornado zone.

"This year, I understand that this is a short term fix for a problem that needs to be addressed and we're excited that they were able to keep everyone in the building and address the problem," Johnson said.  "But long term wise, I would like see them get it down to a number where all the first graders can be down in the first grade hall."

And school officials say they're working on just that.

"We are currently having discussions right now on the attendance areas and looking at what we need to be doing for next year," Doshier said.

School officials say each teacher that was moved from Stapleton to Irving will be teaching the same grade level as they taught previously.
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